Foreign Minister invites Japan to resume investment projects which are currently in pipeline

In an effort to strengthen economic ties, the Foreign Minister of Sri Lanka cordially invites Japan to resume the investment projects that are currently in the pipeline.

Additionally, he warmly welcomes fresh investments from Japan across various sectors, including power, infrastructure (such as ports and highways), as well as the green and digital economy.

Media Statement by Ali Sabry, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Sri Lanka on the official visit to Japan, 1-7 July 2024

Your Excellency Yoko Kamikawa, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan,

Konnichiwa, Ayubowan, Good Evening!

Friends from the media,                                                                                                           

It is an honour and great pleasure for me to visit this beautiful country Japan on the invitation extended by Your Excellency.

I’m delighted to note that our countries have worked closely to deepen and broaden our ties in various spheres. Our contemporary relations are characterized by mutual respect and understanding. Our shared values of Democracy, Human Rights and the Open Economic Orientation, and good people to-people engagement bind us in a special way.

Excellency, Your country and the Japanese people are deeply trusted friends of Sri Lanka. We have nurtured a mature and vibrant 70 year long relationship. The deep-rooted friendship between Japan and Sri Lanka has been further consolidated through the exchange of high-level visits.

Your Excellency’s visit in May this year and the visit of President Wickremesinghe to Japan in May last year, demonstrates the importance both Sri Lanka and Japan attach to the excellent bilateral relations.

Dear friends from the Media,

This morning, I also had the pleasure of meeting the Chief Cabinet Secretary, Hon. Hayashi Yoshimasa. A little while ago, Minister Kamikawa and I had the opportunity to engage in detailed bilateral discussions on a range of topics. I also met with the Justice Minister of Japan.

Sri Lanka is deeply appreciative of the solidarity and the significant assistance Japan has extended to Sri Lanka in the past year and for the grant assistance provided to Sri Lanka, when the country was going through some unprecedented economic challenges. On 26th of June, Sri Lanka signed comprehensive debt restructuring agreements with key bilateral creditors. We are deeply grateful to Japan for the important supportive role played in the external debt restructuring process as a co-chair of the Official Creditor Committee (OCC).

We do believe that Japan has a key mutually beneficial role to play in our renewed hope in the economic revival.

So I would like to invite Japan to resume the Japanese investment projects which are currently in the pipeline. I welcomed fresh investments from Japan in several sectors such as power, infrastructure including ports and highway sectors, as well as in the green and digital economy.

Japan, through the JICA, remains one of Sri Lana’s key development partners. The ODA assistance we received has a critical impact on the lives of our people.

On Sri Lanka’s progress on national reconciliation and unity, I shared with Minister Kamikawa the most recent initiatives taken by the Government of Sri Lanka including the operationalization of the Interim Secretariat on the Truth and Reconciliation Mechanism. Japan has appreciated Sri Lanka’s efforts on national reconciliation. Japan has been a friend who has understood Sri Lanka’s challenges and remains a trusted interlocutor. We thank you for that.

As the current Chair of the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA), I explained to the Minister about Sri Lanka’s expectations of IORA as a platform to promote peace, stability, and sustainable development in the Indian Ocean region.

Sri Lanka believes in the freedom of navigation in the Indian Ocean and of the air space, to ensure smooth and dynamic functioning of International commerce and shipping.

On taking forward our bilateral cooperation, a number of important initiatives were discussed during our bilateral discussions. We discussed about transition into renewable energy, pandemic and global health, disaster prevention and mitigation. Discussing the on-going conflicts and rising tensions, we agreed on the importance of peaceful negotiation for resolution of issues through dialogue and cooperation.


I look forward to sharing perspectives with Minister Kamikawa later this evening on some additional areas of mutual interests especially on disarmament and non-proliferation, on-going conflicts and rising tensions and the importance of peaceful resolution of conflict beginning with de-escalations.

Sri Lanka highly values women's full and vibrant participation in all areas of society. She is a champion of the policy framework-Women Peace and Security. I wish to hear more on her life work on WPS and expect to share my thoughts regarding the importance of the involvement of women in all areas of society to achieve sustainable international peace, security and development.

I take this opportunity to appreciate the support extended by the Government of Japan to develop the National Action Plan (NAP) on Women, Peace and Security (WPS) which was launched in March 2023.

All this goes to show that Japan and Sri Lanka enjoy a warm relationship. It displays a special vibrancy in development and economic spheres. High-level political visits further invigorate this long standing relationship. Excellency, I remain deeply committed to making our relationship even more robust.

Sri Lanka attaches great importance to the continuous development and deepening of cooperation with Japan which I have no doubt would be further consolidated  in the years ahead as you steer foreign policy of Japan.

Kamikawa San, I take this opportunity to thank you for all the support and goodwill that Japan continues to extend to my country.

Thank you! Arigato gozaimasu!

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